Put families first, one father at a time

Any doubt about how destructive the casual creation of life outside marriage is to men, women and children can be seen in the state’s desperate efforts to connect men and their children.

Once life is created by adults who have no particular committment to each other, it falls to the state to try to salvage the children. Otherwise, they follow the examples they know, examples that lead them to poor school performance and lifetimes of failure. For children of the unwed, especially among the underclass, life without a mother and father in the home is the rankest cruelty self-absorbed adults can inflict unintentionally.

Emotionally and financially, they enter life with two strikes against them.

The state, through the Georgia Fatherhood program, does its best to reconnect the absent parent, mostly men. It’s an uphill struggle. “These people face daunting obstacles to becoming parents,” said Department of Human Resources Commissioner B. J. Walker of participants in the program, about 11 percent of whom are women.

Keep in mind that the men and the few women in the Georgia Fatherhood program want to support their chiildren. “You have a lot of men out there who have various barriers, such as education, criminal records, substance abuse problems who really want to do the right thing,” said Keith Horton, who heads up the DHR program.

Of the 3,000 who will have been enrolled in this fiscal year, the hurdles are indeed daunting:

  • 82 percent have a criminal history.
  • 81 percent are without jobs.
  • 34 percent lack a high school diploma or GED.

It’s clear that such men would not be seen as attractive prospects for marriage. The compelling question is why, then, women would casually create human life with men they’d not view as marriageable? That is the cultural problem, one that opinion leaders in families, churches, communities, public life and in the media should take on.

Instead, we’re going the other way. Professor Jeffrey M. McCall of DePauw University, author of “Viewer Discrection Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences,” noted in an AJC op-ed, that “network programmers are clearly intent on redefining how marriage is viewed in America.”

CBS, he writes, is creating a show tenatively called “Arranged Marriage,” in which young adults have spouses chosen for them by friends and family. Not pretend spouses. Spouses they’re expected to marry. Reality TV follows.

So we have on the one hand a state working with men who want to be fathers, who are willing to pay child support and, many of them, to connect emotionally with their childdren, while television demeans the institution that would have served the best interests of both men and women, but most of all children. It’s insanity.

It’s insanity that we pretend marriage doesn’t much matter and that it’s fodder for no-value entertainment.

The Fatherhood program in Georgia is frantically trying to reconnect. It incudes training to help the adults find work. It works with adults in prison to teach men how to be fathers and it includes paternity testing to remove all doubt that the children are theirs.

It also includes something that undoubtedly means a great deal to young girls — and should to the fathers as well. That is father/daughter dances that have been held in places like DeKalb and Cordele.

“We don’t just focus on child support finances,” said Horton, “there’s an emotional bond to be created there as well. ”

Horton and other state officials can try to perform miracles in connecting men and women to their children.

But they are able to help only a few at the time, after the children have suffered.
That adults discount marriage is harmful to their children. That television treats the institution as a game is a national disgrace.

101 comments Add your comment

Dems are Crooks

April 21st, 2009
9:36 am

Copyleft

April 21st, 2009
9:43 am

it falls to the state to try to salvage the children.

UH-oh! That sounds like SOCIALISM.

Wooten is suggesting that the state has a legitimate interest in improving the lives of poor and disadvantaged children! And you all know where THAT leads… public education, immunization and healthcare programs, or even… SCHOOL LUNCHES!

This is outrageous. Turn in your Republican credentials immediately, Jim. No Republican worthy of the name gives a damn whether poor kids starve, sicken, and die, and it’s disgusting–disgusting!–to suggest that we should! Hang your head in shame for such a horrible statement.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 21st, 2009
9:44 am

Demi, shut up! The Republinazis, no longer relevant, sold out this country a long time ago. Too bad about these miserable, useless kids!

Churchill's MOM

April 21st, 2009
9:45 am

Jim, good read look at this slimeball, got Bristol Pg & then won’t do his duty..

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s father is taking the 19-year-old father of her grandson to task for not helping to pay for the baby’s care.

In the issue of Us Weekly magazine to be released Friday, Chuck Heath says Levi Johnston is capitalizing on national interviews but not spending money on Tripp, the nearly 4-month-old son of Johnston and Bristol Palin, the governor’s 18-year-old daughter.

Heath says he wishes Johnston would “take some of this money he’s making and buy some diapers with it.”

The unemployed Johnston has said he wasn’t paid for appearances on national television last week, when he complained the Palin family was limiting his access to Tripp since the couple broke up. A message left at Johnston’s Wasilla home wasn’t immediately returned.

**************PALIN-MCCAIN 2012***************************

Big Bucks GOP

April 21st, 2009
9:50 am

The Treasury Department’s most ambitious plans to rescue troubled banks
– partnerships between the government and private investors, backed by
the Federal Reserve — are inherently vulnerable to fraud and should
not be started without stronger safeguards, a top government
investigator warned in a report to be released Tuesday.

Peter

April 21st, 2009
9:51 am

Education in the schools Jim…….ever hear of Sex education…..

I know it is something Republican’s like your NEW LEADER “Palin” fails to see the merit of……..But hey she possibly never even talked with her daughter about Sex Education.

When the leading Republican Figure Head’s daughter is in the situation you write about today Jim…….it is probably time to look in the Mirror.

What did the Palin girl say…….Something about preaching abstinence is Silly and unreasonable.

Education……Now I know the Republican’s are not about Education……….. But it starts with Sex Education Jim.

You probably don’t get it….Palin doesn’t either……..Thus her unwed daughter’s with a child !

Republican’s just don’t get it, but they preach and Judge !

Tina P. Smith

April 21st, 2009
9:51 am

It is long overdue for someone to say – STOP having children that you really don’t want or are prepared to properly take care of. Treating children as byproducts of sex is shameful and should be treated as a crime. If these absent fathers were locked up and forced to work or forced into the military to provide for their children the birth rate would drop dramatically.

Big Bucks GOP

April 21st, 2009
9:52 am

Some of the nation’s most influential financial institutions, including
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, slashed their
political donations, even as Congress began to prepare for increased
regulation of the troubled industry,

Jefferson

April 21st, 2009
9:53 am

So how is the state to pay for it, considering nobody wants to pay for anything.

Big Bucks GOP

April 21st, 2009
9:53 am

Clear Channel Communications, the embattled radio and outdoor
advertising giant, is seeking to reorganize its debt load and is
considering hiring an adviser for its capital-structure issues.

N. Joy Pharteen

April 21st, 2009
9:54 am

I went to a father-daughter dance, but this creepy dad kept cutting in. My daughter kicked him in the cojones, just like I taught her. Makes Daddy proud.

Big Bucks GOP

April 21st, 2009
9:55 am

Stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region fell across the board on
Tuesday, mirroring declines on Wall Street as renewed nervousness about
the health of the U.S. banking system put at least a temporary stop to
a six-week rally in global stock markets.

GayGrayGeek

April 21st, 2009
9:56 am

Copyleft – Remember, most of the Neocons and Republican’t’s, especially in these precincts, are “pro-life” until the kid is born when it’s on its own for daring to be born to the “wrong” parents. You know, the whole “Love The Foetus, Hate The Child” mantra they’ve used since the 80’s…

Peter

April 21st, 2009
9:57 am

Hey…….Copyleft

“it falls to the state to try to salvage the children.”

HA HA HA……… Jim is preaching “Socialism”…………of course without Sex education.

Gosh when are the Republican’s going to put some brain power to use ?

How is this………”it falls to the state to try to salvage the children.”…any different then Health Care for all American’s Different ?

We should take care of some but not all ? Jim did you fall on your head last night ?

Big Bucks GOP

April 21st, 2009
9:57 am

As R. Allen Stanford, the Texas billionaire accused of masterminding an
$8 billion Ponzi scheme, tells his side of the story, regulators are
lying when they say he defrauded tens of thousands of investors. And if
any of it is true, his chief financial officer is to blame, Mr.
Stanford says.

Big Bucks GOP

April 21st, 2009
9:59 am

The increasingly thorny question of who should be in charge of finding
assets and compensating Bernard L. Madoff’s victims touched off a
public tug of war among federal judges in Manhattan on Monday — a
fight that will determine how victims’ claims will be handled.

Dusty

April 21st, 2009
9:59 am

You are right on track, Jim Wooten. Children without real parents are sad.

One Atlanta TV news program sometimes shows children available for adoption. Some are teenagers still looking for a “home with someone to help me with…” and they name something they like. Little ones, sometimes siblings, come on with faces of hope for a family that “wants” them. It is heart breaking. How can the mothers and fathers of these children discard them?

With the figures you presented about the status of most disconnected fathers, I am surprised that any of these fathers make a good parent. Maybe it is worth a try.

No need to mention TV. Morality is gone on “entertainment shows”, a lost cause never to return.

Dusty

April 21st, 2009
10:15 am

Well, I hope CopyLeft and A.J. are just being cute this morning. They seem to care more about politics than children. Just sqawking deliriously to get an argument. Then comes Churchill’s Mom with her paid Dem post for today.

If you don’t care about children, take the day off. Wooten cares and wants you to care. Why don’t you try being decent instead of a bunch of self centered dimwits saying the same thing every day? At least, read what Wooten says before you make claims against his concerns. You might even show that you care a little bit about children.

Dr. Alan Grant

April 21st, 2009
10:21 am

Children are noisy, expensive … they smell.

Dr. Ellie Sattler

April 21st, 2009
10:22 am

They do not smell.

Dr. Alan Grant

April 21st, 2009
10:23 am

Babies smell.

Peter

April 21st, 2009
10:28 am

EDUCATION…………. SEX EDUCATION………HELLO ?

Lefty

April 21st, 2009
10:31 am

Where is Chris Broe’s opinion.
You know he has one.

Just American

April 21st, 2009
10:35 am

Government is all about fixing the problems of society. There are just some problems that cannot be fixed by government and this one that Wooten addresses is an example of such a problem. Even if the child(ren) reconnect with the father/mother . . . what kind of example does these parents bring to the table. The vast majority have criminal records . . . are uneducated. . . jobless, etc. I think government could use the money spent on this program better for some other purpose. It is almost the same senseless purpose as the program in which children are paid to go to school. Taxpayers already pay for education and now we are paying for kids to go to school!

Righty

April 21st, 2009
10:40 am

I’m sure it will emerge soon (along with a cloud of methane) from his bum.

My Baby's Mama

April 21st, 2009
10:45 am

Children are precious beyond words. Anything to help families be together (whether the parents are married or not) is worth doing.

Matt Foley

April 21st, 2009
10:56 am

Jim, I’m thrice divorced and I live in a van down by the river. with a divorce rate of 50%+, marriage is meaningless. ANY child or family counselor will tell you that while the best case scenario is to have a child(ren) raised in a two-parent, loving home; raising a child(ren) in an “unloving” two-parent home (domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness) creates its own problems. please let me know when the State figures out how to force adults to embrace concepts like honesty, accountability, personal responsibility, respect. these concepts are in short supply on Wall Street and Capitol Hill (and under the gold dome locally). it is foolish to fantasize about John (or Jane) Q. Public taking the high road when it comes to children. There are good parents and there are inept parents and a marriage certificate is not part of the equation. I know many responsible, healthy and dedicated single parents (widows and widowers, un-wed single mothers/fathers who have adopted children). This is why we are wasting time debating same sex marriages, etc. The State should not and cannot endorse or oppose any interpersonal relationship between consenting adults and to have its hand in the “morality police” business ends up causing more problems than it resolves. As with everything else, Americans generally take the low road when it comes to character. Americans will continue to fail because there are no consequences to failure. Our Family Court system is a joke, and even if there were laws to “protect” children or to ensure every child had a positive adult role model in his/her life, how are you going to enforce this law or who establishes the “standards” in terms of what consitutes a “loving family” or healthy home? if you think a piece of paper signed by a judge, priest, minister or justice of the peace is the answer; well I guess your logic makes perfect sense.

Chris Broe

April 21st, 2009
10:57 am

Wooten’s conclusions are in his premise. Wooten’s Premise: That parentless children face economic obstacles. Wooten’s Conclusion: that parentless children face economic obstacles. His supporting data has existed since the Exodus. Marriage is what happens when your planning other things. Wooten’s moral outrage is limited to ceremonial aplomb. He thinks that reality tv deserves to host his moral outrage. He makes economic assumptions about neglected cultural solutions from which he extracts the nature of man and expects that to pass for moral outrage. C+.

Don’t bother reading bookman today. If you’ve read my comments lately then you’ve already been exposed to over half the material, and you’d also know how incorrect he is. First, Bookman cites Brooks to explain premises for his arguments. Yet Brooks is incorrect about demographic cyclical behavior. Consumers are no different now than they were in the depression. There’s no new era where consumers are concerned. Otherwise, no economic theories would be reliable. The stock market couldn’t exist.

Just American

April 21st, 2009
11:02 am

My Baby’s Mama . . .couldn’t agree more with you that chldren are precious but quite honestly if these parents weren’t so selfish having children without giving a thought to bringing them into a world where life is difficult with two parents in the home . . . let alone just one I would say yes it is worth doing, but paying for a program where 81% don’t have jobs . . . just who is supporting these children and how is the success of this program measured? It is easy to say these parents want to connect with their children . . . but what does not mean? Quite honestly, I’m tired of “children” being held over my head for education and government programs when they are the product of lazy, selfish, deadbeats, illegals and whatever!

Travis Henry

April 21st, 2009
11:12 am

I’m 30 and have nine children. It’s awful hard out here trying to write nine different checks and visit nine different houses to see them all. I need a long vacation.

Peter

April 21st, 2009
11:18 am

EDUCATION…………SEX EDUCATION……….Something the Republican’s will not acknowledge !

Just ask Sarah Palin………

[...] Put families first, one father at a time Tags: dad, fathers [...]

kevin

April 21st, 2009
11:21 am

the more i read this blog the more i hate democrats

Peter

April 21st, 2009
11:22 am

Church…..Just not a friendly place to be………..No Sex Education taught There !

Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

Man stabbed at East Cobb church

Cobb police spokesman Joe Hernandez said the stabbing stemmed from an altercation between two church employees.

“One began choking the other, and the one that was being choked pulled something out and started stabbing the other one in his neck,” Hernandez said.

D

April 21st, 2009
11:23 am

What a crock. I am a single Mother by choice , I have reared one very responsible college graduate (thanks to the Georgia lottery and Hope Scholarship) and have another who is in the Sage (gifted) program in public school. They are the products of my values and beliefs, and my greatest joy and gift. I seriously doubt if they would have benefited from the strife and turmoil that comes from staying in an ill fitting “marriage”. We live within our means,have never been in trouble with the law,I am so sorry we don’t fit the stereotype of Mr. Wooten’s poorly imagined ,morally superior opinion.

Peter

April 21st, 2009
11:25 am

Here is a FUNNY POST…………Got to enjoy God Fearing Republican’s !

kevin

April 21st, 2009
11:21 am

“the more i read this blog the more i hate democrats”

HA HA HA……….. Love your follower’s Jim……Education is Not high on their list !

Did this Person go to Church On Sunday ?

catlady

April 21st, 2009
11:26 am

Read “Promises I can Keep” a look at why poor women put childbearing before marriage.

Also, suggest you look at who “qualifies” for the program, andyou won’t be surprised at the above statistics.

REPUBLICANS EVIL TIME IS UP

April 21st, 2009
11:30 am

JIM JIM JIM YOU EVIL GOP NAZIS SAY DONT KILL THE BABIES IN THE WOMB BUT ONCE THE BABY GETS HERE STARVE BEAT SHOOT KILL UNEDUCATE NO HELP.

THIS IS THE REPUBLICAN WAY OF SAYING WOMEN WE DONT WANT YOU TO HAVE A CHOICE OF ABORTION,WE WANT THE RIGHT TO BE ABLE TO KILL THE CHILD WHEN IT GETS HERE,NEO-NAZIS BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES TO BE ABLE TO BOMB SHOOT AND KILL INSTEAD OF LIFE.

Davo

April 21st, 2009
11:32 am

Compassionate Conservatism v2.0

Best of luck with that, JW.

Diogenes

April 21st, 2009
11:49 am

Good morning, Jim,

This seems a favorite soapbox topic of yours, yet I’ve not seen you make a single positive suggestion. It’s easy enough to find fault, and you’re quite skilled at it. Have you noticed, however, that practical suggestions don’t seem a part of the conservative dogma?

lizinsarasota

April 21st, 2009
11:52 am

I am 50, and beyond my childbearing years. I spent my childbearing years in Atlanta, including my time at Emory. I wanted to have a family – husband and children – but was unwilling to have a child out of wedlock, so I never had any kids. I never could get around the importance of first finding a husband – to have a child out of wedlock completely negates the role of the father – which, despite having a truly lousy father myself, I felt was important.
These uneducated women who are breeding with these deadbeat men – what’s their problem? The stupid gals I see in the news, giggling. The stupid men I see in the news, criminals. The resources we waste each year, acting in loco parentis to an ever-increasing underclass who breed like animals.
I always thought that the government should step in at some point – how many children should one woman have before we as a society say no more! Is it four children on welfare? Is it five? How many children should women who are on public assistance be allowed to have? How many crack addicted children should a woman be allowed to have? Remember in the ’80s when the crack babies would leave Grady with $250K bills? Why was there no discussion back then about making sure the women involved where PREVENTED – gee, what a concept – from having additional children while they were addicted?
Is it a good life – not working, watching TV, running around in bedroom slippers? Is it a good life – not raising your children to watch you work, not reading to them, not trying to prepare them for a better life than your decisions led you to? In Brazil there are so many children they run wild in the cities, forming packs akin to wild dogs. In Asian countries there are so many children they are sold into bondage. Solutions like China’s upset the natural order of things and have resulted in an imbalance of many restive young men, unable to marry.
In nature the weak die out. Humans, and especially us in America, however, set nature at naught with our least successful citizens – with nothing to contribute to society – breeding out of all proportion to their ability to give back.
Bottom line – the 22-year old with four children – she’s a superior genetic specimen, superior to me, because society has decreed she is the one supported throughout her various pregnancies & the attendant complications, that her children will be supported – cradle to grave – by society.
If I was in a financial position to do so, I’d offer free Norplant to all comers. It is quite safe, and removable.
If I was in a position where I could, I’d mandate Norplant to all women on public assistance, because there’s no action more likely to result in women staying on public assistance than having a child/children. I would come up with a male version of Norplant for all men on public assistance.
Living independently of their government is the sine qua non of what being an American means. This dropping babies like wild animals has just got to stop. How many more generations will we lose?

Peter

April 21st, 2009
12:03 pm

WOW………Diogenes ……You hit the nail on the head ! When will Jim come up with an Idea ?

Republican’s under Bush wanted this stuff taken care of by the churches and non profits…….the BIG Problem was after BUSH bankrupted America…… these folks don’t have the money !

Now Jim wants Socialism to take over…… How Republican is that ?

Of course Jim NEVER Mentions EDUCATION……. A Republican theme…. Keep them DUMB !

D

April 21st, 2009
12:09 pm

lizinsarasota sounds like Hitler’s long lost sister. Thank God she did not spawn another like herself.

Californication

April 21st, 2009
12:10 pm

The dimacrats don’t care about education, all they care about is the teachers union, and they want to keep the population stupid so they can create a welfare state. Looks like it is working for Muslims’, only educate a few to lead the sheeple. I say fund abortions in a generation or too we will not have any liberals left.

Mike

April 21st, 2009
12:12 pm

Ok, please explain to me how education, criminal records and substance abuse problems are barriers to being a parent. If these men and women truly want to do the right thing, as you said they do, then they would get off drugs and stop committing crimes. Education comes later, after they’ve established themselves as an active parent in the childs life. You know as well as I do that using substance abuse, education, and criminal records are just poor excuses that help these mothers and fathers shirk their responsibilities.

Just American

April 21st, 2009
12:18 pm

BUSH didn’t bankrupt America . . you idiot . . .we did it to ourselves!!! Greed knows no party affiliation. Those on Wallstreet are no different than the greedy people who wanted “the American Dream” without having to pay for it!!!

Devontaenekishnatarious

April 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

Ok… I get it now. Rich Republicans are the only ones allowed to self-medicate their misery , like their Supreme Role Model and Idol, that Oxy(contin) Moron – Rush Windbag !!!

Peter

April 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

Sex education should be taught early in school !

Kids at an early age see SEX all over the TV…..he Government seems to have zero problem there…… in TV shows, Movies and especially in ADVERTISING…….but these same children, have zero idea how it impacts their lives, the kids lives, and society as a whole.

Sex looks like fun to kids……..abstinence is not working folks !

Algonquin J. Calhoun

April 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

Just Ameri-con, You’re the idiot! George W. Hitler most assuredly bankrupted this nation, in every way a nation can be made destitute. As for the kids without a father, blame the mothers. Many women will lie about being on birth control, become pregnant and try to force an unsuspecting male to marry her skank ass. When that doesn’t work she leaches off the man, aided and abetted by the stinking courts, or goes the welfare route. You can’t expect men to submit to marrying some slut just because she’s giving birth to his unwanted offspring!

KISS system

April 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

Peter@9:51- How about education at home!!! How bout teaching our children about responsibility. It should always start at home. It is not the schools or Govmnt responsibility to be parents. But the lefts answer is handing out condoms, and as all can see this has really had great success!! For almost all of our social woe’s you can look to the home envirement for the answers/culprit. Teaching responsibilty to our kids today will start changing our kids mindsets for future generations. Sometimes some of the toughest problems really do have simple solutions. Just keep the govmnt out of it,don’t they screw up enough.